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It’s been said that the best public relations professional is just as good as their media contacts. Knowing that, one of the most important tools when looking to get publicity about your company and or product is having a good media list. A media list is a targeted list of journalists, the outlets they work at, their beat assignments and their contact information. This specialized list is not something you can just build once and use over and over again; it is a constant work in progress. A good PR person knows that updating your list with relevant and current information is an important step as you embark on your awareness campaign. Once your list is complete for the future, a good PR person knows to go back into the list and update the information on a regular basis. Building a list does not take long, and there are a few good tips you can follow to make the process easier and more effective. Following are some great pointers for you to get started:
Step # 1 Find the right outlets
The easiest place to start building your list is to think about what publications you read. Start compiling your list with your favorite newspapers, magazines, news shows and online sources.
After your favorite outlets are written down, start thinking about your audience. What periodicals do you think they read in order to get their news? Once you can identify their media preferences add those outlets to your lists.
Step #2 Find the right journalists
Once you have compiled your targeted list of outlets, next it’s time to identify the right journalists at these news sources. Take note of the journalists at these publications that you believe might be interested in writing about your company news. When identifying journalists from a newspaper or magazine, look up several of their past stories online to make sure your news is something they cover. For example, even though you may be fond of the lifestyle reporter, if they don’t cover business stories or entrepreneurs, they wont be the best source to send your information. Doing back searches for previous work is a great way to help you identify their beat assignments and specialty coverage areas.
Step #3 Include the correct contact information
Now that you have selected your outlets and targeted journalists for your media list, next you will need to include their contact information. Take note of the reporter’s direct email and phone numbers. It’s best to avoid general news desk telephone numbers unless you are calling them for research purposes.
Step #4 Keep good notes
The last piece of information you should have on your media list is a section for notes. As you begin to familiarize yourself with the outlets and journalists on your list, you may begin to identify some reporter preferences. For example, some reporters only prefer to be contacted by email, while others say to call them on the phone during certain business hours. You should also jot down when you know reporters have deadlines or when reporters and producers are on the air, so you don’t pitch them when they are busy. All of this valuable information is important for you to keep, as it will only help you have a more efficient distribution process.
We hope these tips help you get on your way to not only having beneficial media lists, but lots of meaningful media coverage! Best of luck!